We’re just days away from the last classes and tests of the school year, with graduation and vacation following closely behind. Talk about the good and the not-so-good happenings of the past 10 months with your family, and remember to thank those who helped make the school year possible. Use every minute of May to treasure those end-of-the-year events with unique celebrations like the following ones or a few of your own.
National Salad Month: Lettuce celebrate this one together in the kitchen. Gather the family to make dinner together with a delicious salad several times over the course of the month. Check out online sites such as www.dressings-sauces.org for new recipes. Or, work together to chop up various ingredients and have your own salad bar, including yummy choices like spinach or lettuce leaves, tomatoes, onions, boiled eggs, bacon bits, sprouts and pods, pecans and other nuts, blueberries and other fruits, peas or beans, croutons or crumbled crackers, and lots and lots of grated cheese. Yet another option for salad night: Layer the ingredients of your salad in a clear, glass bowl for an esthetically pleasing meal, as well as a yummy one.
American Bike Month: If you haven’t done so yet, take out the bikes from the garage, check out the tires and chains, give them a spring cleaning, and then climb aboard for a family bike-riding evening. Choose a beautiful Saturday afternoon to pack a picnic lunch in a backpack and go for a longer ride, too.
National Family Reading Week: When the last homework paper has been turned in, lending way to extra free time in the evenings, choose a lengthy chapter book that the family will enjoy and have read-aloud time before bed. Climb in a big bed together, sit on the front porch, lie on a blanket outside or pile on the floor in the den to read an old classic or just-published adventure.
National Waiters and Waitresses Day: To celebrate this fun event, let each person in the family have a turn being a waiter or waitress for the dinner meal. Take drink orders, fill plates, serve the meal, dine with the family, and then clear the table. And when the family visits a restaurant this month, pay particular attention to the server for the evening. Make sure to get his or her name and use it each time he or she returns to the table. Before the family blessing, ask the wait-person if he or she has a prayer request. (It could simply be a college student in dire need of a good grade on a final!) Write a note on a paper napkin to the server. Or, if you’re in one of those fun restaurants with a paper table covering, let the kids write notes to the server with crayons.
National Backyard Games Day: Celebrate this fun holiday often this month and throughout the summer. Play relay games, games on the trampoline, badminton or baseball. Or, make up your own games, something along the lines of this: Tape numbered scraps of paper from one to 10 on various locations in the backyard. Choose a partner and link arms. Have the teams race, tagging each number, to see which team can return to the starting point first. Let one team begin with 10 and count down, and have the other team start with one. For another game, place instructions on note cards at each number, like, “Do 10 jumping jacks” or “Sing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’” Have two people race to each number, one going in ascending order and one descending, following the instructions at each number, to see who can finish first.
Celebrate and play throughout the month of May. Cook and dine together; read and bike together; sing and dance; make vacation plans; dream and ponder. Treasure the gift of family every day this month.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.